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Windows 7: To raid or not to raid


24 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 
To raid or not to raid

Well this isn't exactly a problem.. more a question
I got a COZ vertex 2 160 GB and Im thinking bout another one
Now Im thinking bout using the second to put games on
Of course raid would be faster.. but I don't know
Besides 1 disk breaks the whole array is gone
What's anyone else doing with more than 1 SSD btw

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24 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The biggest advantage to an SSD is it's incredibly low access time to any file on the drive....this doesn't improve in a RAID configuration.

Personally, I don't have 2 SSD's in the same box...heck I don't have 2 SSD's period.

If it were me, I would run one SSD for my OS only and run a second SSD with my games on it. This should increase your performance a small bit, without the complexities of RAID and the issues when 1 drive fails. Plus, this easily allows you to image each of the drives separately for backup purposes with something like Macrium, Paragon, Acronis, etc.
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24 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I agree whole harditly with pparks1. If you do want to dabble with a raid set up, get a couple of cheap/inexpenisve hardrives and start with raid 0, then expirement with 1, 5 and 10 but in those set ups a minimum of 3 hard drives it required. This little video gives you the basics of riad. It's a little cheesy but the idea is explained.

HowStuffWorks Videos "Episode 8 - RAID Explained"
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24 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 

Ive had a raid before.. it was with 2 samsung Spinpoints.. but I think I felt rather uncomfortable with it
besides.. like you said I believe SSDs are already great in speed without even raid
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24 Jan 2011   #5

Ultimate 7
 
 

Raid them the speed difference justifies it and the drives should be a lot more durable then rotating disk technology of yesterday
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24 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

In benchmarks it will look great. Check real life performance. For example, lets say that you open up Call of Duty Black Ops and it loads 750MB of texture files into video RAM. Let's say the standard SSD loads them in 200MB/sec. So, it would take 3.75 seconds to load the textures. Let's say a RAID 0 config sped you up to 375MB/sec so that would drop you from 3.75 seconds to 2.0. So, coupled with the processing time of the video card...which should be the same....he question is whether that 1.75 seconds is worth it. And lets assume that you have a spinner hard drive that runs at 85MB/sec. That drive would take 9 seconds to load that file.....dropping from 9 to 3.75 is a 5.25 second difference. The drop yet again with a RAID setup would only be 2 more seconds...so, only about 1/3 the improvement of going to the SSD.

The other thing to consider is lets say that you were loading the game and it only loaded up a 175MB texture file. On a single SSD, that would take .875 seconds. Now, with the RAID configuration, it only takes 0.47 seconds...can you really see the 0.405 second difference?

On the flip side, if you used these drives for storage, and needed to make a backup copy of your 21,500MB virtual hard drive file...with the Single SSD it would take 1min and 47 seconds...but with the RAID configuration it would take 57 seconds. If you were doing massively large file copies all day, that RAID would be awesome and hugely beneficial. But you likely aren't using 2 x SSD drives for storage.
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24 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 

I was bout to ask that... would I really notice the difference?
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24 Jan 2011   #8

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi WolfSoul - I agree with pparks too but for slightly different reasons (though his reasoning is valid as well). I used 10,000 rpm raptors in Raid 0 very heavily every day for 3 years and never had any disk problems (so I was lucky) and I did appreciate the speed bump and the increased volume size - BUT, BUT - the OCZ's don't have "Garbage Collection", they use TRIM support and Wear Leveling to prevent SSD performance degradation.

And Windows 7 DOES support the SSD TRIM command - BUT, BUT - the TRIM wont work (at this time) if the drives are setup in a RAID configuration. Someday they'll get TRIM to work in a RAID system but it hasnt happened yet.

I think you're better off with using the second SSD as a "second system drive" for your games. I have two SSD's and thats what I've done. I also moved the majority of my page file to the second SSD. I have 12 GB of ram and I'm one of those folks that harbors the notion that the page file should be equal in size to the installed ram - so I moved 11 GB of the page file to the second SSD and only keep 1 GB of it on the OS boot SSD. I've tried to setup the OS SSD so that it gets written to as little as possible and I've tried to keep the amount of used space on it to a minimum. All I keep on the primary SSD is the OS and my system programs.

I don't want to see degradation in either SSD but keeping the OS SSD as fast as possible (over the long haul) is my primary goal. So far it's been working pretty well - I use my rig for maybe 8 hours a day and so far (after 7 months) my SSD's read and write speeds haven't deteriorated at all.

This is just what I do personally, we all do our own thing, don't we ...... Cheers
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24 Jan 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thehappyman View Post
I have 12 GB of ram and I'm one of those folks that harbors the notion that the page file should be equal in size to the installed ram
You aren't alone. I have 8GB of RAM, and I set my pagefile to 1.5x my RAM. So, I've given 12GB to the page file, all of it on my spinner drive. While my page file is hardly ever touched, I've also got over 500GB free on my 1TB drive...so I don't need the space for anything else.
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24 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Retail
 
 

8 GB RAM here too.. and don't have a second SSD yet btw, was just throwing this out here
The SSD thing also still feels rather new to me
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 To raid or not to raid




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